AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott has announced that the grade promotion requirement related to the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test for students in grades 5 and 8 has been waived for the upcoming school year.
Typically, school systems must take into account a student’s score on the STAAR test to determine whether the student can be promoted to the next grade level.
The traditional A-F grading system will remain in place, albeit with certain adjustments due to COVID-19.
Typically, students enrolled in grades 5 and 8 are required to re-take a STAAR test late in the school year, and sometimes again in the summer, if they do not meet grade level when taken during the spring.
With Abbott's waiver, there will be only one administration of the STAAR grades 5 and 8 mathematics and reading assessments for the 2020–21 school year across the state. The test will be administered in May to coincide with the administration of other STAAR grades 3-8 assessments.
"As always, our goal is to provide a high quality education for every Texas student," Abbott said. "This will be a uniquely challenging school year, therefore, this year is about providing students every opportunity to overcome the disruptions caused by COVID-19. By waiving these promotion requirements, we are providing greater flexibility for students and teachers, while at the same time ensuring that Texas students continue to receive a great education — which we will continue to measure with high quality assessments."
Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said the uncertainty of the pandemic has weighed in this decision.
"Parents deserve to know how well their children have learned grade level knowledge and skills in reading and math, especially in a time when education has been substantially disrupted," Morath said. "And educators use this valuable information to make adjustments to support students the following year. But there is no benefit to our children by requiring them to repeat a year based on a single test score given the disruptions of COVID, so we are waiving the grade promotion requirements from STAAR this year for our students."
To learn more about this test, visit TEA’s FAQ guide on the Texas Assessment Program [lnks.gd].